Norm beaming at retirement
CHANNEL Seven's veteran news hound Norm Beaman has some news: he's retiring after 48 years in the game. The old-school journo who scored the scoop of the century with the arrest of Tony Mokbel and his wig in Greece in 2007 is opting for a quieter life on his farm, north of Melbourne. "Fifteen working days left. Who's counting? Me," Beaman said. The dark and rugged Beaman, 64, started out by doing a cadetship with a Bendigo radio station then moved to the big smoke to work at 3DB, a station that shared a newsroom with Channel Seven. Beaman has been with the network for 30 years in three stints, also working at the ABC, Nine and Ten. In 2009, he was personally affected in the Black Saturday bushfires, winning a Melbourne Press Club Quill award for best TV news report when retelling the harrowing experience of saving his house but watching the property get razed. Beaman is also in possession of another trophy a Mokbel-style wig in recognition of him being in the right place at the right time when the drug lord was apprehended in sunny Glyfada. "The wig is safely ensconced at home and may be brought out per chance that any of my colleagues wish to have a farewell evening. I'm trying to avoid it but am told by various media outlets that's not going to happen. I tend to think there may be a couple of convivials." It's bound to be the send-off of the century. Seven's news director, Simon Pristel, said: "Norm's a legend. We're all sorry to see him retire apart from Tony Mokbel, of course."
Jones the destroyer
THE rotten tomatoes are flying in from every direction to splatter well-dressed Alan Belford Jones, the Sin City shock jock who redefined the notion of an apology when caught out over his appalling comment about Julia Gillard's late father. Ever since Jones put his foot in his over-active mouth and accused Christine Nixon and others of "destroying the joint", a collective of women set up the "Keep Calm and Destroy the Joint" movement to monitor his nasty verbal emissions and those of other sexist blokes. Just like the Change.org lobby group is keeping the pressure on advertisers to dump 2GB, the "Destroy the Joint" militants also have their foot on the gas. Another brickbat that crashed through Jones' window was last week's Ernie Award for Sexist Behaviour over his "destroying the joint" comment. A psychic couldn't have done it better.
HE'S been at it again, the urban cowboy called Mario who trots through the bayside suburbs. Decked out in his black-leather-tasselled ensemble, Mario and his horse have ridden through St Kilda, Port Melbourne and most recently South Melbourne, where they were spotted in Sandilands Street. There's an Advanced Hair Studio there, making the scene all the more bizarre with the horse's flowing mane swaying in the breeze. Grant Gittus has seen the One Amigo outside his office window twice in the past two weeks. There's no way to stay inconspicuous when you are riding a horse on asphalt, so Mario put on the full "yeeeee-haaaaa" routine to remind everyone who's the cowboy.
Pratt keeps promise
ARTS lover Jeanne Pratt loves hopping on a plane but said no to a trip to New York to be at the opening of her musical, Promises, Promises, at the Arts Centre tomorrow night. Daughter Heloise Waislitz has been in the Big Apple with friends to support the Global Poverty Project, an initiative of Hugh Evans, a former Young Australian of the Year. Central Park was rocking at the Global Citizen Festival, an "advocacy concert" starring Neil Young with Crazy Horse and the Foo Fighters. Waislitz, the chairwoman of the Pratt Foundation, has rubbed seriously powerful shoulders at the United Nations, meeting Bill Gates, a major supporter of the poverty project with wife Melinda. While the rich and powerful work to wave goodbye to poverty, Jeanne will resume her spot at the Arts Centre escalators to kiss hello to her guests. Film-maker Nadia Tass is directing her first Production Company musical, this one starring Matt Hetherington and Marina Prior.